One week ago today, I did a very drastic thing. I gave my two weeks’ notice to an employer I love, and instead of taking a new job, I decided to leave the work world for an indefinite period of time, while my kiddos are still too young to go to school.
At this time, I have no idea when I’m going back to work, or what I’ll do whenever I do go back. And I am wildly okay with this.
When Archer had his first seizure in September of 2017, it completely changed our world. Nothing has been the same since then. It’s been one thing after another, and now, looking back over these 7 or 8 months… I see all the turmoil, fear, stress, worry. Then a baby sitter quit, we had a new baby, another baby sitter quit, we struggled to find a baby sitter, Jake went away, more seizures, more sickness, loneliness, more fear. Crippling anxiety. Yet another baby sitter quit, and that was just about the last straw. This poor mama (yes, I am referring to myself this way!) had all her little heart could take.
I kept thinking to myself, things will slow down, just one more hurdle and things will get easier. But they never did. There was always something else popping up. And while I realize that more could pop up… taking my work (and the commute, the stressful meal prep, the packing of everyone up to get out of the house, the worry that I’ve forgotten something, the constant wonder if my babies are okay, the musical chairs game of coordinating two work schedules… the 4 a.m. wake up call!, etc.) out of the equation has already dramatically simplified our lives.
See, when I tell people that I’m looking forward to life slowing down, they always want to tell me that life never slows down and it’s always busy and if it’s not “this”, it’s “that”. And I do understand what they are saying. But I think we have gotten to be so obsessed with being busy. It’s a badge of honor now to be so busy that you don’t have time to do <insert whatever here>. It’s “just how it is” to say “busy!” when someone asks how you are. It’s become normal to be stressed to the max, tired to the max, stretched thin to the max…
And I’ve decided that I don’t want to play anymore. I really just want a life where I can sit and enjoy my coffee in peace.
When Jake and I decided to get out of debt (a milestone we are so close to, I can taste it!), we decided to do something counter-cultural by living financially free. And now, we are deciding to do something counter-cultural here – by not buying into the idea that faster is better. Or that more is better. Or that bigger is better.
I shared in December that one of my 2018 Initiatives was to simplify. But I had no idea I’d be simplifying THIS much!
Even though I’m still finishing my last two weeks of work, the overwhelming peace I felt as soon as I resigned was absolutely unprecedented. It’s been 25 months since I went back to work after Archer was born. I’ve been a working mom (you know what I mean) for 25 months. And those 25 months have been mixed with pride, fear, anxiety, enjoyment, blessings, and stress.
If you know me, you know how much I love my job, and you know how big of a supporter I am of working women! I love women, and I think that moms who work outside the home are AWESOME. It is such a hard job. If we consider motherhood to be the hardest job out there, then you stack another 40 or 50 hours on top of that…. Well, enough said. Working moms are very special people, and in many ways, I’m glad I got to be a working mom, because it will help me appreciate the time that I will get to be with my babies starting later this month.
This decision had nothing do with whether or not a woman should work, but everything to do with whether or not I personally should work right now. And we unanimously decided that the answer to that question was “no”. (please don’t write me to tell me you disagree with my opinion of working moms… I’ve heard it all, and I don’t care to argue!)
I’ve always said it’s unnatural for a mama to be away from her babies. But in today’s economy, I didn’t see a way around it. I am so happy we started working to change our financial situation when we did, so that our whole family could be afforded this opportunity today.
I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about this decision. Mostly good. Some not good. But mostly good. And I’ve gotten pretty mixed feedback about my desire for a simple life. But I think that will grow on people as well.
Either way, I can’t wait for the Baggs family to start this next chapter. And I’ll hope you’ll join me as I continue to blog about my adventures as a fast-paced-corporate-career-woman turned hippie-stay-at-home-mom!